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Omani Mehri

A New Grammar with Texts

Series:

Aaron D. Rubin

This book contains a comprehensive grammatical description of Mehri, an unwritten Semitic language spoken in the Dhofar region of Oman, along with a corpus of more than one hundred texts. Topics in phonology, all aspects of morphology, and a variety of syntactic features are covered. The texts, presented with extensive commentary, were collected by the late T.M. Johnstone. Some are published here for the first time, while the rest have been newly edited and translated, based on the original manuscripts. Semitists, linguists, and anyone interested in the folklore of southern Arabia will find much valuable data and analysis in this volume, which is the most detailed grammatical study of a Modern South Arabian language yet published.

Arabic in Context

Celebrating 400 years of Arabic at Leiden University.

Series:

Edited by Ahmad Al-Jallad

The writing of Arabic’s linguistic history is by definition an interdisciplinary effort, the result of collaboration between historical linguists, epigraphists, dialectologists, and historians. The present volume seeks to catalyse a dialogue between scholars in various fields who are interested in Arabic’s past and to illustrate how much there is to be gained by looking beyond the traditional sources and methods. It contains 15 innovative studies ranging from pre-Islamic epigraphy to the modern spoken dialect, and from comparative Semitics to Middle Arabic. The combination of these perspectives hopes to stand as an important methodological intervention, encouraging a shift in the way Arabic’s linguistic history is written.

Tense and Text in Classical Arabic

A Discourse-oriented Study of the Classical Arabic Tense System

Series:

Michal Marmorstein

In Tense and Text in Classical Arabic, Michal Marmorstein presents a new discourse-oriented analysis of the indicative tense system in Classical Arabic. Critical of commonly held assumptions regarding the binary structure of the tense system and the perfect-imperfect asymmetry, the author redefines the discussion by analysing the extended syntactic and textual environments in which the paradigm of the indicative forms is used.The study shows that the function of Classical Arabic tenses is determined by the interaction of their inherent grammatical meaning and the overall dialogic, narrative, or generic contexts in which they occur. It also demonstrates the particularizing effect of context, so that temporal and aspectual meanings are always more nuanced, delicate, and pragmatically motivated in actual discourse.

Series:

Edited by Aaron Butts

Semitic Languages in Contact contains twenty case studies analysing various contact situations involving Semitic languages. The languages treated span from ancient Semitic languages, such as Akkadian, Aramaic, Classical Ethiopic, Hebrew, Phoenician, and Ugaritic, to modern ones, including languages/dialects belonging to the Modern Arabic, Modern South Arabian, Neo-Aramaic, and Neo-Ethiopian branches of the Semitic family. The topics discussed include writing systems, phonology, morphology, syntax, and lexicon. The approaches range from traditional philology to more theoretically-driven linguistics. These diverse studies are united by the theme of language contact. Thus, the volume aims to provide the status quaestionis of the study of language contact among the Semitic languages.
With contributions from A. Al-Jallad, A. Al-Manaser, D. Appleyard, S. Boyd, Y. Breuer, M. Bulakh, D. Calabro, E. Cohen, R. Contini, C. J. Crisostomo, L. Edzard, H. Hardy, U. Horesh, O. Jastrow, L. Kahn, J. Lam, M. Neishtadt, M. Oren, P. Pagano, A. D. Rubin, L. Sayahi, J.Tubach, J. P. Vita, and T. Zewi.

Series:

Stefan Bruweleit

The linguistic categories of aspect, tense and action are closely interrelated. In the first part of Aspect, Tense and Action in the Arabic dialect of Beirut, Stefan Bruweleit defines the three categories and describes the interplay between them at a metagrammatical level. In the next parts he applies the theoretical findings of the first part to the Arabic dialect of Beirut, investigates the ways temporal, aspectual and actional categories are expressed and shows how to decide whether the verb system of the dialect has to be regarded as aspectual or as temporal. One of the main results of the work is the fact that a thorough understanding of a verb system is only possible through an understanding of the categorial interplay of aspect, tense and action.

Series:

Aaron D. Rubin

This book contains a detailed grammatical description of Jibbali (or Shahri), an unwritten Semitic language spoken in the Dhofar region of Oman, along with seventy texts. This is the first ever comprehensive grammar of Jibbali, and the first collection of texts published in over a hundred years. Topics in phonology, all aspects of morphology, and a variety of syntactic features are covered. The texts include those collected by the late T. M. Johnstone (newly edited and translated), as well as new texts collected by the author, while the grammar is based both on the texts and on original fieldwork. Semitists, linguists, and anyone interested in the folklore of Arabia will find much valuable data and analysis in this volume.

Middle Arabic and Mixed Arabic

Diachrony and Synchrony

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Edited by Liesbeth Zack and Arie Schippers

In recent scholarship, the connection between Middle Arabic and Mixed Arabic is studied in a more systematic way. The idea of studying these two varieties in one theoretical frame is quite new, and was initiated at the conferences of the International Association for the Study of Middle and Mixed Arabic (AIMA). At these conferences, the members of AIMA discuss the latest insights into the definition, terminology, and research methods of Middle and Mixed Arabic. Results of various discussions in this field are to be found in the present book, which contains articles describing and analysing the linguistic features of Muslim, Jewish and Christian Arabic texts (folklore, religious and linguistic literature) as well as the matters of mixed language and diglossia.

Contributors include: Berend Jan Dikken, Lutz Edzard, Jacques Grand’Henry, Bruno Halflants, Benjamin Hary, Rachel Hasson Kenat, Johannes den Heijer, Amr Helmy Ibrahim, Paolo La Spisa, Jérôme Lentin, Gunvor Mejdell, Arie Schippers, Yosef Tobi, Kees de Vreugd, Manfred Woidich, and Otto Zwartjes.

The Ecology of Arabic

A Study of Arabicization

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Muhammad al-Sharkawi

This book offers a comprehensive account of Arabicization in the Middle East and Egypt in the early period of the Arab conquests. Drawing on material from ancient Arabic grammarians as well as modern studies in second language acquisition, it analyzes the linguistic and non-linguistic ecological factors that contributed to the development of Arabic during the early period after the Arab conquests. It describes the pre-Islamic linguistic and sociolinguistic situation and traces the development in this period. The sociological, cultural, and sociolinguistic context is sketched to determine the nature and quality of the process of learning Arabic in the early period. The work further discusses the process of learning Arabic as a second language and the input provided by the native speakers, which both affected the structure of the emerging dialects.